Really CVS?

The US pharmacy chain CVS is notorious for its long receipts that feature discounts for all manner of future purchases of other products, and this has been the subject of much ridicule for some time. You would think that it might have responded by cutting down on the waste. But just yesterday I went in there and bought a single item and the receipt was even longer than I remembered from my last visit. When I got home, I measured the receipt and it was three feet long! Just for a single item!

I’m pretty sure that I am not the only person annoyed by this kind of waste.


  1. Bruce says

    I think you have now explained America’s shortage of toilet paper.
    Save those receipts, folks. They’re not very absorbent, but they are fairly sterile.

  2. bmiller says

    I read somewhere that the ink in many printed receipts is toxic…the same kind of chemical as found in leaching plastic bottles.

    Google to the rescue. Most of them are contaminated with BPA or BPS.

    (Marketwatch is RELATIVELY less prone to woo)

    My preferred supermarket tasks if you want a receipt, but Safeway gives you one of those long coupon-laden ones automatically. I need to stop touching them

  3. jenorafeuer says

    Well, your standard receipt paper is thermal, The Wikipedia page for thermal paper does note that, yes, BPA is used (in some formulations) as a developer to activate the dye. It also notes that people who handle receipts all day, like cashiers, have measureably elevated levels of BPA. That said, touching it all day still gives you only about 2.5% of the tolerable daily contact, so even cashiers aren’t in significant danger.

    You don’t want to eat the stuff, and you shouldn’t recycle the stuff, but the standard brief contact most people are going to have is perfectly fine.

    There have already been efforts at banning BPA in receipt paper, and there are other alternatives, so it’s quite possible any receipt paper you get is using one of the other compounds for that purpose.

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